We know that there really is no off-season for the players and staffs of Major League Soccer teams, and for Real Salt Lake it is no different, as players continue to recover from the long season, work out to stay in shape, and prepare mentally and physically for the long upcoming season. The staff continues their work, from scouting to contracts to planning and scheduling. We know that there will be a USMNT camp in January and this year it will have added importance as World Cup Qualifying and the Gold Cup will both be taking place in 2013, so a number of RSL players will likely be involved with their various national teams. Here is the official RSL intro to their pre-season schedule:
REAL SALT LAKE ANNOUNCES 2013 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Claret-and-Cobalt to Train in Arizona and California, Participate in FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup
SANDY, Utah (Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012) – Real Salt Lake has finalized plans for the club’s 2013 preseason schedule, which will include a pair of training camps in Arizona and one in California across six weeks in January and February, prior to the kickoff of the 2013 Major League Soccer campaign in early March.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will officially kick off its ninth season on Friday, Jan. 18, when players will report to Salt Lake City for entrance physicals. The team will stay in Salt Lake until Jan. 21, when the entire group will head to the home of the Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy at Grande Sports World just outside of Casa Grande, Ariz. RSL will train at Grande Sports World from Jan. 21-28.
After a short spell back in Utah, Real Salt Lake will head to the Los Angeles area for its second leg of spring training on Jan. 31. The team will train at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine, Calif. from Feb. 1-8.
The team will then head back to Utah again before returning Arizona on Feb. 11, this time for a two-week stint in Tucson for the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament. It will be RSL’s second-consecutive year in the round-robin competition, which will also feature MLS sides Seattle Sounders FC, New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution.
The FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and will conclude with the Championship and 3rd Place matches on Saturday, Feb. 23. Fans interested in attending the premier MLS preseason tournament of 2013 can visit www.FCTucson.ticketsocket.com to secure their seats at the Kino Sports Complex and www.FCTucson.com/team/book-your-room-today/ to book discounted lodging in Tucson.
RSL will likely be without several players during various periods of the 2013 preseason due to national team duty. FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica), MF Kyle Beckerman (U.S.) and GK Nick Rimando could miss time in January and February due to CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, while MF Luis Gil will almost certainly miss nearly the entirety of RSL’s preseason training while participating as a key figure in the United States’ U-20 National Team CONCACAF qualifying tournament for next Summer’s FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Following the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, RSL will return to Utah to begin preparations for its MLS season opener, expected the weekend of March 2. MLS will release each team’s home-opening dates next week, with the full league schedule expected in early January.
Currently, the only way for fans to guarantee their seats at Rio Tinto Stadium for any of RSL’s 17 MLS home games is to “Join the Pride” by becoming an RSL Season Ticket Holder. Fans can purchase Season Tickets by visiting the www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake 2013 Preseason Key Dates / Schedule (subject to change)
2013 MLS SuperDraft – Thursday, Jan. 17 – NSCAA Convention, Indianapolis, IN
Spring Training Opens – Salt Lake City
Friday, Jan.18 -Entrance physicals in Salt Lake City
Jan. 19-20 – Physical testing/training sessions in Salt Lake City area (times/locations/media access TBA)
Spring Training Trip #1 – Casa Grande, Ariz.
Monday, Jan. 21 – Travel to Casa Grande, Ariz.
Jan. 22-28 – Training at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz.
Tuesday, Jan. 28 – Return to Utah
Spring Training Trip #2 – Irvine, Calif.
Thursday, Jan. 31 – Travel to Irvine, Calif.
Feb. 1-8 – Training at the University of California-Irvine in Irvine, Calif.
Friday, Feb. 8 – Return to Utah
Spring Training Trip #3 – FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz.
Monday, Feb. 11 – Travel to Tucson, Ariz.
Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Training session at Kino Sports Complex
Wednesday, Feb. 13 – Match #1 vs. New York Red Bulls – 7:00 p.m. MT
Feb. 14-15 – Training sessions at Kino Sports Complex
Saturday, Feb. 16 – Match #2 vs. Seattle Sounders FC – 4:00 p.m. MT
Feb. 17-19 – Training sessions at Kino Sports Complex
Wednesday, Feb. 20 – Match #3 vs. New England Revolution – 5:00 p.m. MT
Feb. 21-22 – Training sessions at Kino Sports Complex
Saturday, Feb. 23 – Championship/3rd Place Match vs. TBD – 6:00 p.m./4:00 p.m. MT
Sunday, Feb. 24 – Return to Utah
CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers
Wednesday, Feb. 6 – U.S. at Honduras
Wednesday, Feb. 6 – Costa Rica v. Panama
CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying Tournament
Monday, Feb. 18 – U.S. v. Haiti
Friday, Feb. 22 – U.S. v. Costa Rica
Feb. 26-March 3 – Tournament Knockout Stage
2013 MLS “First Kick” Season Opener
Saturday, March 2 – opponent / site / TV TBD
So there you go the whole of the RSL pre-season are you counting down the days?
That’s How I See It.